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Meet the homegrown athletes competing at X Games

Eric Lars Bakke/ESPN Images; Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Eric Lars Bakke/ESPN Images; Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images

Not sure who to root for at X Games 2018 in downtown Minneapolis? Start with these three locally sourced athletes. 

Alec Majerus

Skateboarder / Rochester, Minnesota / 23

Who’s your all-time X Games idol and why?

It’d probably have to be Ryan Sheckler, just because when I was little he’s who I looked up to and who I wanted to be, basically. I’d watch X Games and see him in it on TV.

If you were to compare your style to that of an athlete from the Big Four leagues—NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL—which athlete and why?

To be honest, I don’t know any sports players. I only skate. I started skating when I was 8, and it basically took over my life at that point, and I never did anything else.

How did growing up in Rochester uniquely influence you as a skater?

Local competitions got me really motivated to wanna skate bigger contests. I just kept doing bigger and bigger contests, until I was in the pro ones. Sometimes it’s hard in Minnesota, because there’s not a lot going on, so you really have to stand out.

In a philosophical sense, what is the gnar, and why must it be shredded?

[Laughs] The gnar is ... people say that because they wanna go for broke, ya know? Push themselves to the limit.

What’s your ultimate goal for X Games 2018 in Minneapolis?

I really just wanna have fun and do my best. I’m not looking to win or anything, but if I did, that’d be great. I just wanna have all my friends and family there and have a good time.

What makes skateboarding the greatest sport ever?

There’s no rules. It’s all you and what you want to do. There’s no coach, no practice times, none of that; it’s all self-motivation. It’s completely you and your skateboard, and that’s it. Like I used to be in soccer when I was little, and I’d just get bummed at them making us practice. With skating, it’s just completely free—you do whatever you want.

Where’s your go-to spot to eat in the Twin Cities?

When I was younger, I used to really love Raising Cane’s, the chicken finger place. I don’t eat meat anymore, but when I was little, that was the spot.

Nicole Hause

Skateboarder / Stillwater, Minnesota / 20

Who’s your all-time X Games idol and why?

I’d probably say Tom Schaar because I saw him as a kid. He was like 12 and I was like 14, and he was doing the mega-ramp and doing all this crazy stuff as a young kid. I think that inspired me to do stuff like that. You’re like, “That kid can do it? I can too.”

How did growing up in Stillwater uniquely influence you as a skater?

I would skate by myself a lot, so it allowed me to have my own inspiration. Instead of picking things up from other people, a lot of tricks I do are solely because I wanted to do them, not because I saw somebody else do them. And I feel like that still translates through.

If you were to compare your style to that of an athlete from the Big Four leagues—NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL—which athlete and why?

I like Allen Iverson; [he’s] the shit, but I don’t think that applies to me, but Allen Iverson is one of my favorites. I gave him knuckles one time. He did not give a shit—he was a little dude and he was really fast, really good.

In a philosophical sense, what is the gnar, and why must it be shredded?

That’s a great question! I honestly don’t even know what to say, because I don’t even know ... I just say it—“Shred the gnar!” I’ve always said it, but it doesn’t really make any sense.

What’s your ultimate goal for X Games 2018 in Minneapolis?

To put down a run that I think is super sick, and to do a new trick.

What makes skateboarding the greatest sport ever?

The individuality. It’s like unlimited possibilities of what you can do; there’s no right or wrong way to do it, and that’s cool to me. You don’t have to give a shit about what anyone else thinks.

Where’s your go-to spot to eat in the Twin Cities?

[Oakdale chicken-wing joint] :D-Spot. :D-Spot’s the shit—I want :D-Spot right now! Usually I get picked up at the airport, and we go right to :D-Spot.

Colton Walker

BMXer / New Richmond, Wisconsin (close enough!) / 21

Who’s your all-time X Games idol and why?

I’d probably have to say Brett Banasiewicz. He’s not competing anymore, he had an accident—a head injury—but he was always my favorite rider. He just made everything look really easy; he had a really positive outlook on life and a unique riding style.

How did growing up in New Richmond uniquely influence you as a BMXer?

Me and my brother always did sports together—skateboarding, dirt bikes—but I switched over to BMX. My family used to go to a campground every summer that had a skate park called Jellystone, and one time I brought my bike. It stuck with me—I just loved riding my bike, kept doing it and doing it, and now we’re here.

If you were to compare your style to that of an athlete from the Big Four leagues—NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL—which athlete and why?

It’s hard because I’m not well acquainted with other sports. I don’t really watch other sports. I’m trying to think... I definitely respect LeBron James.

In a philosophical sense, what is the gnar, and why must it be shredded?

Man, that’s a hard one too. I don’t think “shred the gnar” is a specific thing, people just say it [to mean] like “do something crazy” or “go all out.”

What’s your ultimate goal for X Games 2018 in Minneapolis?

Definitely try to win Dirt again, but I’d love to podium in both Park and Dirt, for sure.

What makes BMX freestyle the greatest sport ever?

The freedom of it. You can be your own person, do what you wanna do. Obviously, [with] all of our fellow riders, we help each other out, but we’re all free to learn and express ourselves in our own way. [There’s no one] looking over us and telling us what to do.

Where’s your go-to spot to eat in the Twin Cities?

I’d say the [Old] Spaghetti Factory. I really like Italian food.